Meaning & History
Derived from Greek ὄφελος (ophelos) meaning "help, advantage". This name was probably created by the 15th-century poet Jacopo Sannazaro for a character in his poem Arcadia. It was borrowed by Shakespeare for his play Hamlet (1600), in which it belongs to Hamlet's lover who eventually goes insane and drowns herself. In spite of this, the name has been used since the 19th century.
Depiction of Shakespeare's Ophelia by John William Waterhouse (1894)
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